2023 – our big announcement…

By July 15, 2020July 22nd, 2020Uncategorized
wedding day priorities blog post

So what’s new…?

Well, something quite big is new.  We’ve got a big announcement and we want you to be the first to hear it.

2022 will be the last season for the big Saturday and MMW weddings.  I know!  I told you it’s a big deal.

If you want a summer Saturday weddings (up to 120 guests) or a MMW wedding (up to 20 guests) with us, you need to get your skates on – 2022 is the last season.  The very last.

We’re still going to be doing elopement weddings after 2022 (up to 8 guests).  In fact we’ll be doing even more of those as we can open up more dates in the summer for elopement weddings.   Yay!  And we’ll be doing those indefinitely.   Carrying on with offering the full big wedding experience on a tiny scale.  We say elope and have it all…

summer elopement at ever after nicola & steve

Photographer: Clare Kinchin

But why…?

I think like a lot of people, the COVID crisis gave the lovely S and I time to think about how we want our lives to be and how our little biz impacts our lives.  We had the chance to really think about the biz rather than be working in it all the time.

The COVID crisis means 2020 is the first year since we opened in 2014 that we’ve had a summer to draw breath.  Normally we have weddings every weekend from May to September.   We basically lose out on all weekend socialising with family or friends for 5 months!   We usually take 2 weekends during the season where we don’t have weddings in order to give ourselves a break and recharge our batteries.  Friends and family know there’s no point inviting us to anything or trying to see us at any point during the summer.  Boo…

We love sharing our lil corner of Dartmoor with all our lovely couples and so many of them keep in touch afterwards too.  It’s great there are so many couples who treasure this place and have life long memories of it – that’s very special to us.  It’s been amazing holding weddings at our home.

summer elopement at ever after nicola & steve

Photographer: Clare Kinchin

But (newsflash) we’re not getting any younger.   When we first set up this lil biz back in 2012, (planning red tape meant it took us 18 months before we had our first season) I set a target of 10 years.   I’ve run businesses before in my career but I’d never run one where there was no exit except to shut down the business.   That took a while to wrap my head around.  I was pretty sure the business would be successful even before we started but… I couldn’t figure how to sell the business as we live here and we’re for def not selling our home.  Conundrum.

I quickly figured the only solution would be just to shut the business down and revert the venue back to a family home after those 10 years.  No other solution made sense if we’re weren’t willing to sell our home.  So that had always been the plan.  Launch, run it (hopefully successfully) for 10 years, shut it down and retire.

But plans evolve.  Stuff happens and things change.  What changed for us was the elopement weddings idea which we launched in 2016.  We came up with the idea to extend our season and host weddings during the winter.  Hosting big weddings in the winter in what is essentially an outdoor venue was never going to be a runner.  Holding elopements for a max of 8 guests on week days only during the winter made perfect sense and they’ve been a great success.  We’re really proud of our elopement weddings which have set the bar for what elopement weddings can be.

We extended the elopement offering into the summer so couples can have an elopement in the summer months although we’ve only had space to do one elopement a month during the summer months.  Not holding the summer Saturday or MMW weddings opens up a shed more summer elopement dates from 2022 and we’re really excited about that.

Nikoletter-and-Zoltan-bride-and-groom

Photographer: Clare Kinchin

We’ve got some other changes to elopement weddings coming so I’ll be doing a separate post about those changes – they’re exciting so watch out for those in the coming days.

I’ll give you a heads up on Insta when that post goes live so make sure you’re following us there and you’ll be able to see the update as soon as it goes  up.